5 Symptoms of a Bad EGR Valve (and Replacement Cost)

What is an EGR Valve?

The EGR valve is also known as the exhaust gas recirculation valve. The purpose of this valve is to help recirculate the engine’s emissions by returning them to the combustion chamber instead of releasing them into the exhaust emission system.

There are two main benefits to having an EGR valve. The first benefit is that it reduces the temperatures of the cylinder considerably. The second benefit is that it reduces the number of emissions that get produced.

All the exhaust gases of a vehicle are dependent on the EGR valve to manage their flow. The EGR valve works in conjunction with the EGR system in order to pull this off. When the EGR valve opens, it allows emissions to enter the EGR system which is where the emissions are controlled.

But, if there is a problem with the EGR valve, then it won’t be able to open and close properly. This means the emissions will increase instead of getting reduced. You may not necessarily realize this is happening until you notice some of the more obvious symptoms.

Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Low Engine Oil in Your Car

Top 5 Bad EGR Valve Symptoms

Here are five of the most common signs that you have a faulty EGR valve.

1) Check Engine Warning Light

The Check Engine light will likely illuminate on the dashboard when you have a failing or bad EGR valve. This happens as soon as the vehicle’s central computer detects that the EGR valve is in an abnormal position.

For example, if the EGR valve does not close all the way or open all the way when it is supposed to, then the computer will detect something is wrong and activate the Check Engine Light.

2) Poor Engine Performance

A bad EGR valve is going to cause performance problems with the engine. You will likely experience acceleration difficulties and an overall power reduction when you step on the gas pedal. This is due to the air and fuel ratio being out of whack.

As a result, the engine will require more fuel just to have any power at all. Then you will be spending more money on gas because you will have a bad fuel economy as well as bad fuel efficiency.

3) Fuel Smell

Since the engine will be consuming more fuel, more hydrocarbons are going to exit the tailpipe. This will intensify the fuel odor to the point where passengers can smell it inside the cabin of the vehicle.

You obviously won’t want to keep on smelling this because it is not healthy. So, this will be an incentive to address the EGR valve problem right away.

4) Rough Idle

The engine will experience rough idling when there is a malfunctioning EGR valve because the valve will get stuck in a closed or open position. This means that too much or too little exhaust gas will be entering the chamber, which will cause the engine to not run smoothly.

5) Failed Emissions Test

If you live in a state that requires you to get emissions testing every couple years, you may discover that you have a bad EGR valve if you end up failing this test. You won’t necessarily be told this, but it will be something to watch out for if you do fail.

EGR Valve Replacement Cost

The cost to replace an EGR valve can be anywhere from $200 to $480. The parts costs alone will be somewhere between $140 and $360. The labor costs alone will be between $60 and $120, depending on the mechanic’s hourly rate.

While an EGR valve isn’t the cheapest component to replace, especially on some vehicles, the good news is that it should not take more than one hour for the mechanic to perform this replacement job. 

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